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A proposed rule would end the Department of Veterans Affairs' longstanding ban on gender reassignment surgery.

The change would allow medical procedures that treat a condition called gender dysphoria and allow a man to live as a woman or vice versa.

The VA says the surgical procedures were not deemed to be “medically necessary” in the past and there were questions over their safety and effectiveness.

"Increased understanding of gender dysphoria and surgical techniques in this area have improved significantly, and surgical procedures are now widely accepted in the medical community as medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria,” the VA wrote in a notice on on the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) website.

"Additionally, recent medical research shows that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that has had severe medical consequences for certain patients if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided."

Advocates praised the move as both an important step forward for equality and a signal that the department is committed to offering the best available health care to all veterans.

Decisions on whether veterans should undergo the surgery would be made on a case-by-case basis, after consultation with VA medical experts.

The rule is expected to be reviewed by the OMB in the coming months.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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